Location: Redstone Theater
Dir. Mel Brooks. 1974, 95 mins. 35mm. With Gene Wilder, Cleavon Little. Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn. Director Mel Brooks recently called this “the funniest movie ever made,” and while he may be biased, he is hardly alone. Cleavon Little plays Black Bart, a condemned man suddenly given the impossible task of being sheriff of an all-white, all-unruly town by a corrupt big wig trying to make a land grab (Korman). But with the help of gunslinger the Waco Kid—Gene Wilder at his deadpan best—Bart wins over the town. With its proudly low humor and bawdy one-liners, Brooks’s western spoof thumbs its nose at whitewashed Hollywood myth-making, audaciously amplifying the racism customarily muted in tales of the old West.
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